Book Review: The Silver Linings Playbook

I’m taking a break from reading Looking for Alaska to write this review. I’m using that book as a device to encourage me to write all those book reviews I’ve been procrastinating. And so, for every 200 pages I read of it on my iPhone , I’ll come here and write a bit.

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The Silver Linings Playbook has recently been recommended to me by one of my friends –one that I truly trust the taste of. And thank God she has. When the only two e-books I’ve read (City of Bones and the Perks of Being a Wallflower) didn’t stun me, I planned on abandoning e-books for good. I thought that, perhaps, I’m not cut out for reading pixels and enjoying them. But that’s where the Silver Linings Playbook tagged along and changed my mind.

Psychology. It’s a very interesting subject and something I wish my school was offering. So yeah. There’s a lot of psychological structuring in this novel, and I think it was truly entertaining to follow the two characters, Pat and Tiffany, as they tried to overcome their psychological problems. So if you’re interested in reading about something like that, this book is definitely for you.

First of all, let me talk about Pat, the main character and the narrator of the story. He is intimidating, confused, goal-oriented, and most importantly, he’s obsessed with silver linings –which I thought was a lovely touch. His only way to counteract his problems is by thinking about silver linings. He liked to run at sunset because that’s when silver linings were most prominent. He tried to trace a silver lining around everything in his life, even his separation from his wife.

We learn at the very beginning of the story that Pat, at some point, was married. He believes they have decided on spending some time apart, which he calls ‘apart time’, and he’s taking that as a chance to change himself, physically and mentally. He’s trying to bulk up, he’s trying to treat people better, to read more and generally be a better man!

And then came Tiffany who’s quite an intimidating character as well; I think she’s scarier than Pat. Pat learns that she, too, has lost her partner even though he didn’t know how. Most of the book, Pat doesn’t really know what’s up with Tiffany, but she participates in his life even though they hardly interact –not normally anyway.

There’s, throughout the book, this air of confusion and ambiguity, bits and pieces that don’t seem to fit together, and that always made me want to go ahead towards the end. I wanted everything to straighten out, I wanted Pat and Tiffany to talk so I’d find out more about her, I wanted to know why Pat and his wife left each other. And it was so much fun to go ahead and try to figure out this whole dilemma alongside Pat.

The only thing that bothered me about the book was the amount of soccer-related (I almost wrote football) content in there. I understand that the author was trying to depict the typical Philly community and life there, but sometimes it was a bit overwhelming. At some points, I’d just skim over those parts because I really don’t know anything about American football/soccer. We don’t even have that here. But still… It was fun to see how this aspect establishes the relationship between Pat and his father and brother and how he was relatively normal during game time.

The ending was rather beautiful too. Simple but beautiful and made the journey towards it worthwhile. Endings have a huge impact on how I feel about a book and rate it.

I’d heard that if a person liked the Perks of Being a Wallflower, they’d like this book because it’s merely a maturer version of the story –in the sense that it’s about adults instead of high school students. What shocked me was that I liked it better than I liked Perks. I think what did that was the story’s immersion in psychology which truly intrigued me.  It really was interesting to see an adult try to find out who he is, who he was…!

I still haven’t watched the movie and I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to soon, but we’ll see.

Now I can go back to reading Looking for Alaska.

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